5 ways with vegetarian pastas

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Stovetop Cajun mac ‘n’ cheese
Serves 4
Melt a knob of butter in a small pan over a medium-high heat. Add 30g panko breadcrumbs and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until toasted. Stir in 1 tsp thyme leaves and set aside. In a large bowl, combine 180g grated Cheddar, 100g grated Mozzarella and 1 tbsp cornflour. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook 250g macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain, return to the pot and stir in 30g butter until well combined. Stir in the cheese mixture, 2 x 170g tins of evaporated milk and 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper and heat through until the cheese has melted. Divide between bowls and top with the toasted panko breadcrumbs.

‘Go green’ pasta
Serves 2
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook ½ a chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add 2 chopped courgettes, ½ a small head of broccoli chopped into florets, 100g frozen peas, 600ml vegetable stock, 200g penne and some salt and black pepper. Stir together and bring to a boil over a high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, removing the lid to stir every few minutes. When the pasta is cooked, add 2 generous handfuls of spinach, 120ml coconut milk and 2 heaped tbsp basil pesto. Stir to combine, then serve.

Spaghetti with winter vegetable sauce
Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. In a large roasting tin, place 2 sliced red onions, 3 garlic cloves, 1 sliced beetroot, 1 sliced carrot, 1 sliced celery stalk, 1 chopped tomato, ¼ chopped head of cauliflower, 150g chopped mushrooms, 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs of rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 50-60 minutes until tender, stirring and rotating the tray halfway through. Transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl of a food processor, add 3 tbsp tomato purée, 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves and a splash of vegetable stock. Whizz until smooth, adding more stock as needed to make a thick sauce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 350g spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in half of the vegetable sauce and heat through over a medium heat. Top with crumbled Feta and serve. (Store the remaining sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze for another time.)

Sun-dried tomato tagliatelle
Serves 2
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook 200g tagliatelle according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 1 roasted red pepper (from a jar is fine), 6 sun-dried tomatoes with 1 tbsp of their oil, 2 garlic cloves and 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto. Whizz until smooth. Melt 50g butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add 200ml cream, the sun-dried tomato mixture and some salt and black pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened. Reduce the heat to low, then add the tagliatelle and 120g grated Parmesan. Toss to combine everything and season to taste. Serve immediately.

Linguine aglio e olio with mushrooms
Serves 2
Melt 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook 450g mushrooms until golden brown. Add 6 crushed garlic cloves, ½ tsp chilli flakes and some salt and black pepper. Cook for one minute longer. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook 200g linguine according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine everything evenly. Add extra seasoning to taste. Divide between serving bowls and top each portion with a handful of rocket.